Wound 3rd

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by jfassett, Feb 12, 2020.

  1. jfassett

    jfassett Synchromatic

    Dec 9, 2017
    Please forgive me if this topic has been discussed in the past, however, I would love to hear thoughts on using a wound 3rd?
    I put a set on both a jet and my 5122 that had some intonation issues when playing chords on and around the 1st fret, the wound 3rd string has eliminated the intonation problem, crazy!
    GOOBALL JEFF, Zeek and thunder58 like this.
  2. JohnLKir

    JohnLKir Electromatic

    May 15, 2018
    Northwest Arkansas
    Use a wound third myself.
    jfassett likes this.
  3. stevo

    stevo Country Gent

    May 1, 2012
    Interesting - I'll have to consider this. I assume this is because the amount of tension is different and/or the distance to contact with the fretboard is slightly shorter?
  4. jfassett

    jfassett Synchromatic

    Dec 9, 2017
    Really don't know why my intonation is better with the wound 3rd, it's like magic!
    stevo likes this.
  5. shrews824

    shrews824 Country Gent

    Feb 22, 2016
    Hardinsburg, Kentucky
    Since I received my Gretsch it came setup with a wound 3rd and it has always played great and intonated very well (even with an old school bar bridge), but it's so dang hard to bend for me. I'm probably going to move to a plain 3rd in the very near future.
    CatTones likes this.
  6. National19

    National19 Country Gent

    Jan 4, 2014
    Ottawa Canada
    I use a wound g as well. Like you, I had issues with that string on the first 3 frets, made all my chords sound horrible, wound g eliminated the problem.
    jfassett likes this.
  7. jfassett

    jfassett Synchromatic

    Dec 9, 2017
    That's my only real complaint as well, not so much on the difficulty to bend, but how far I have to bend the wound string to get the note I want.
    shrews824 likes this.
  8. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    I like .018W in a .010-.046 or .010-.049 set myself. Mostly hase to do w/ feel. I don't really notice much of an increase in bending effort vs. a .017 unwound myself.

    OLDBOLDDIVER Electromatic

    I like a wound third.....feels better
    pilgrim likes this.
  10. afire

    afire Country Gent

    What guitar and what bridge?
  11. jfassett

    jfassett Synchromatic

    Dec 9, 2017
    5122 with a floating space control bridge, the other is a 5220 with an upgraded Gotoh adjustomatic
  12. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    It's all I use on my 6120-1959 . Just gives me that extra twang Unknown.jpeg
    Rusty Silver and jfassett like this.
  13. afire

    afire Country Gent

    Huh. The space control is uncompensated, and intonation is always a compromise with no compensation. But I think many have experienced that a wound G intonates a little better on an uncompensated bridge. With an adjustomatic, you should be able to properly adjust for intonation with either wound or plain Gs.
  14. Zeek

    Zeek Synchromatic

    May 29, 2016
    Illinos USA
    Big believer in the wound 3rd
    jfassett likes this.
  15. jfassett

    jfassett Synchromatic

    Dec 9, 2017
    All good with the wound 3rd, I'm pretty good at getting the intonation right, however, with these two guitars chords at the first or "cowboy chords" just sounded a bit off. No problems now!
    Rusty Silver likes this.
  16. Parttime

    Parttime Gretschie

    Dec 6, 2018
    I haven’t tried a wound 3rd in a while but I do remember it being a little harder to bend. when I had my 5420 I couldn’t get the g string to play in tune on the first fret for nothing. Always set it slightly flat to compensate. Should have tried this.
    Since I got my 6120 I have no more issues.
    thunder58 and jfassett like this.
  17. Bertotti

    Bertotti Country Gent

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    Yep all my electrics have a wound G. I run 12-50 sets and I honestly think, no prof, that larger strings intonate easier. I also found that a wound strong bends easier for me than a solid string. I thinks the core wire is smaller which contributes to that. But I do not bend much anyway.
    jfassett likes this.
  18. snakestretcher

    snakestretcher Gretschie

    Sep 7, 2009
    Yes, it's all about the string gauge. Notice how classical guitars (where all the strings are closer to each other in gauge), have a straight across saddle with no compensation at all (maybe a touch on the G).
    A typical nylon classical set from high E: .028, .032, .040, .031, .037, .045. You can see that, unlike steel strings, the progression of the gauges is not linear and there isn't the large variation in gauge from high to low which we find with steel strings.
    I prefer a plain G for easy bends.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020

    GOOBALL JEFF Gretschie

    Oct 1, 2019
    i am having this issue on all my guitars at the moment, it's like a weird phenomenon! i cannot get any of my 5 guitars in tune they all seem to be getting really sharp at the first fret especially the G string, it's driving me nuts! i was told a wound 3rd would help
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020
  20. Rusty Silver

    Rusty Silver Gretschie

    A wound G moves in mysterious ways... I put it few years ago on my Gretsch cause I had a very problematic intonation on open G (everybody told it was the nut but the nut seemed alright), after one year of wond G I went back to plain G and... No more intonation issues... It's a wounded and mysterious life...
    jfassett likes this.
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